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Melatonin Sleep: Meaning, Benefits and Side-Effects

A lot of people struggle with sleeping problems. They feel sleepy during the day and energetic during the night. This is called a sleeping disorder. We all have sleeping problems due to illness, travel, or due to stress. Some people suffer from these problems daily and they are called sleep-deprived people. As everyone suffers from this problem so how do you know that your problem needs medical attention. 

If you experience any of these then you are in requirement of some medical attention:

  1.   You feel irritated and sleepy during the day. 
  2.   Feel sleep during any task. 
  3.   Have difficulty concentrating on work. 
  4.   Require caffeinated beverages to keep yourself going. 
  5.   People tell you that you look tired.

People generally try a lot of remedies so that they get a proper sleep schedule. They try working out so that they get tired and go to sleep early. They also try drinking warm milk at night, eating dry fruits, or taking a bath before they go to bed. Not all of these remedies work for people from all age groups. Some people also take some medications to improve their sleep schedule. One of these medications is Melatonin

Melatonin for sleep

What is Melatonin? 

It is a hormone that occurs naturally in your body. It is released by the pineal gland at night and controls our sleep and wake cycle. It is sometimes used as a supplement to treat Insomnia. #Avoid giving age brackets It is generally used in people of age 55 and above. It can also be used in small dosages by teens to treat insomnia. However, melatonin itself won’t knock you out but it will let your body know it’s nighttime so you can relax and fall asleep easier.

Who can take Melatonin?

It is prescribed for adults over age 50 but it can be taken by some teens in less dosage to treat Insomnia and as a supplement for some other problems. For sleeping problems in adults, the doctor prescribes 2 mg tablets which slowly release into your body. Although it works for adults, Melatonin is not recommended for children.

If you have any allergies which can react to the composition of melatonin then tell your doctor beforehand. People who have any kidney or liver problems cannot take melatonin. Follow the instructions which are told by the doctor and don’t overdose on this tablet.

How does Melatonin work?

Melatonin works together with your body’s circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock that lets you know when it’s time to sleep, wake, or eat. Melatonin is naturally produced in our body. It doesn’t make you sleep but its level rises in the evening which puts your brain into a quiet state and does promote sleep. The process is tied to the amount of light around you.

Melatonin can be taken for insomnia. Most of the supplements taken are to treat insomnia only. Melatonin calms your mind and lets your body go into a state of peace. Melatonin can also help you with jet lag, a temporary sleep disorder. 

How long does it take for Melatonin tablets to work? 

These tablets don’t take a lot of time to start their action on our brain. The action also depends upon how much dosage you are taking. The typical dosage is between 1mgor 5mg. Take the tablet 1 or 2 hours before bedtime as it will take a few hours for it to start working. Swallow the whole tablet and do not crush or chew it. You can take the tablet after having dinner.

If you forget to take melatonin by bedtime then skip the missed dose and start again from the next night. Do not take it late at night.

What are the Benefits of Melatonin? 

1) It supports better sleep 

As you know it works with the body’s circadian rhythm so it lets you know when to sleep and when to wake. This helps you to have a better sleep schedule.

2) It reduces depression and anxiety 

As it eases the mind and body and people are able to sleep peacefully that’s why they are able to get rid of extra and toxic thoughts.

3) Helps to get rid of Insomnia

It promotes sleep right after an hour of taking the dosage so it helps to get rid of your insomnia.

4) Helps in better concentration and focus

When you sleep better you think better. After taking a full 8 year nap you will be able to concentrate and focus on your work which has been pending for a long time. 

5) Can improve eye problems

benefit of Melatonin

Not taking a full nap also affects your eyes and gives them strain. You pressurize your eyes on the laptop or phone screen which has a blue light and it is not good for your eyesight.

Side effects of Melatonin

Studies have shown that melatonin is safe and non-addictive but some say that it brings drowsiness for many days. People feel sleepy and tired after taking the medicine at night. If you feel so then you can reduce the dosage of the medicine or consult your doctor.

Some other side effects of melatonin are: 

  •     Headache
  •     Vomiting
  •     Nausea
  •     Dizziness 

Melatonin also reacts with a lot of other medicines if you are taking one at the moment: 

  •     Blood pressure tablets
  •     Oral contraceptive
  •     Antidepressants 
  •     Anticonvulsants

Avoid the medicine after an evening of alcohol consumption. This could reduce the effectiveness of the tablet and reduce the levels by 19%.

Can you die from Melatonin? How much Melatonin is safe for you to take?

The answer is no you cannot die from a melatonin overdose. Many people think that it is a fatal drug but overdosing this medicine will only make it harder for you to sleep because your normal circadian rhythms will be disrupted.

An overdose will leave you foggy and sleepy the whole day and give you weird dreams. Taking a dose between 1mg -5 mg is safe and higher can be taken if consulted by the doctor.

Take Away

People with sleeping problems can benefit from taking steps to develop healthy sleep habits. Talking with a doctor about melatonin and sleeping problems can also help. To know more about Health-related issues you can read our blogs at Mars by GHC website.

Image Courtesy: Dreamcloud, Healthline